What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

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What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change – Imagine yourself repeating the same words hundreds of times, punctuating accurate facts, detailed diagrams, and moral appeals. Despite many years of effort, you are deaf and tired and you don’t deserve it, but you feel that people still don’t listen.

“It’s an empty feeling,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, told reporters after his 200th speech on climate change on the Senate floor in 2018. He felt he was speaking to an “empty room.” His detailed pleas about rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, the costs of floods and wildfires, and the flow of “black money” to curb climate legislation became a weekly ritual, but there was little evidence. The hundreds of hours he spent there changed the minds of his peers.

What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

Only one-sixth of Americans reject the scientific idea that the planet is warming, while an even larger third still doubt that humans are responsible. Two new studies explore why many people refuse to accept the facts about climate change, and suggest ways to convince them that our planet is getting warmer. Takeaway: Evidence alone is not enough.

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“People are constantly ignoring the facts on many issues, including climate change,” said Deborah Lynn Guber, an associate professor of political science at the University of Vermont. “When Democrats base their tactics on facts, that’s a problem.”

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The White House is seen before a 2015 speech on climate change on the 100th floor of the Senate. MANDEL NGAN / AFP via Getty Images

The main reason people reject climate science has more to do with political identity than logic. In fact, the smarter people are, the more they are about climate change. On the contrary, both Democrats and Republicans use reason to justify their beliefs. Verification is a one-way thing.

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Not only do Democrats and Republicans in Congress have different priorities when it comes to the climate crisis, they also use different methods of persuasion. A study published earlier this month in the Journal of Local Politics broke down the party differences. Using machine learning, Huber and his colleagues analyzed millions of words from Congressional speeches from 1996 to 2015.

They argue that Democrats make factual and evidence-based arguments about climate change, while Republicans tell stories using images, emotional appeals, and humor to sway people to their side. Huber said Republicans are “finally communicating in the most effective ways.”

On a cold day in February 2015, Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, opened a snowmobile on the Senate floor. After pointing out that last year was the hottest on record, he picked it up and said, “You know what it is? It’s snowing here. So very, very, very cold. Actually It’s impossible.” Then he threw it at the Senate President. “Hold on!”

What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

Host Jon Stewart mocked Inhofe, saying, “If global warming was a problem, I could handle bone balls alone.”

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Of course, Inhofe was concerned about the weather and climate. But it’s hard to argue with the presence of this ice, said Guber. It was funny, but it got a lot of attention.

“It’s a good example of using those vivid images to convey something about climate change that isn’t true,” he said, “but actually doesn’t matter to the audience.”

Inhofe speaks during a Senate hearing on climate change. Scott J. Ferrell / Congressional Quarterly / Getty Images

Today, Republicans are soft on climate change, framing the issue with personal stories, examples, and anecdotes rather than evidence. According to Huber’s research, John Carter, a Republican from Texas, once told the House about playing golf with his friends in Texas in the 1960s. Over the course of a day, they experienced dust storms, rain-soaked mud, and wild temperatures that fluctuated from 90 degrees to 20 degrees. ” she said.

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Some studies suggest that liberals and conservatives react differently when faced with new evidence that contradicts their beliefs. A working paper by four Canadian psychologists argues that many liberals are more likely to change their minds (associated with liberal values ​​of science and skepticism), while conservatives are more likely to stick with it. their guns (related to cultural respect). and religious beliefs).

Democrats have long been criticized for ignoring emotional appeals, Guber said, but they seem to be moving in a direction that appeals to the masses by framing the climate crisis as a threat to public health and national security and calling for a religious administration. . , and explained that climate change creates jobs.

“If Democrats can find a way to emotionally engage with climate change while avoiding some of the triggers that explain partisanship, then they’ll be fine,” Guber said.

What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

The hundreds of hours Whitehouse spent on these words were not wasted. It may seem like nobody watches C-SPAN, but journalists do, and they report what these elected officials have to say. Whitehouse’s speeches were important for news media attention, Guber said. “So many people are talking about climate change in Congress, the topic is growing.”

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Whether or not his rhetoric was instrumental, some Republican colleagues in the White House are slowly turning against climate change. He was joined by Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy in one of his first climate speeches last year. “I think there are at least a dozen Republican senators who want to get into this debate and do something positive that solves the problem,” he told E&E News last July. And he spoke only 250 words.

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Climate Change In Popular Culture

We live in the 26th century, the Anthropocene Era – when humans are officially the biggest driver of climate change on Earth, and have been for some time.

500 years ago, things seemed to be really escalating after the president of the United States pulled out of an international agreement that drastically limited carbon emissions.

If you can see the planet after five centuries, it is an undoubted honor. These are the most important things – if you can call them that.

What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

Let’s start with 2100, when it actually started to get warmer – almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2017, on average.

Despite Storms And Floods, Humans Willingly Ignore Global Warming

Parts of Africa, South America, and India average over 110 degrees in summer, killing thousands of people each year from heat-related causes.

Glaciers in the High Mountains of Asia – the region that includes the Himalayas – have shrunk by 30% in size in the 21st century.

The loss of these permanent sources of melting, combined with massive droughts and population growth, has completely depleted Asia’s water resources.

A drought in Penglai, Shandong Province, China, July 8, 2015. China Daily/REUTERS

Sixty Years Of Climate Change Warnings: The Signs That Were Missed (and Ignored)

The oceans became warmer and more acidic. Your grandchildren have never been able to see the Great Barrier Reef or coral reefs outside of an aquarium.

Sea levels rose 3 feet and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The island nations of Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands have become uninhabitable.

Millions of coastal residents have become climate refugees, including 13 million Americans. Both Disney World and Disney Land were destroyed underwater.

What Happens If We Ignore Climate Change

In the 22nd century, the world’s population reached 9.5 billion people. Scarcity of resources – food, water and energy – has created a new generation of conflicts.

Why People Aren’t Motivated To Address Climate Change

Demonstrators display their umbrellas, symbols of the pro-democracy movement.

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